College sector demands 'parity' after drop in average funding per place

College leaders are calling for further education to have "parity" with other sectors within education after new figures showed spending per place has fallen by almost a tenth over the last decade.

While the average amount spent by the Scottish Government on every pre-school place has increased by 71 per cent, funding per place at both colleges and universities in Scotland went down.

Figures, provided by Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville in answer to a parliamentary question, showed the average amount spent in real terms on each place at pre-school went from £4,321 in 2010-11 to £7,397 in 2019.

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However, for universities spending per place went from £6,525 in 2010-11 to £5,703 in 2020-21.

In the college sector, the average spend per place fell from £4,754 to £4,284.

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Andy Witty, director of sector policy at Colleges Scotland, said: "Our students deserve at the very least parity of funding with other educational settings."

He pledged the organisation would "continue to relentlessly advocate to close this gap".

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville provided figures showing the drop in average spending per place.

Mr Witty added: "Colleges create the workforce needed now and are training the workforce of the future, upskilling and reskilling older learners, and providing a first choice for education and qualifications for learners of any age.

"Our learners deserve the very best experience at college and resources need to be there to ensure that their requirements are met and their expectations exceeded."

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